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P. U. Gibson, shame on you!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Siggy, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    I was at G.C. today and saw a new Gibson Thunderbird for $1600. It had a Mahogany body and neck. Quite a looker, when I took it from the wall I was absolutely shocked at the lack of quality in the fit and finish.The finish, especially around the headstock was wavy. The frets protruded from the fretboard so far that it was truly unplayable. One could cut wood with the edges. I have never seen such a bad fret job. After I put it back I looked at the $350 Epi version of the T-bird and the workmanship was excellent. No sharp fret edges and the finish was nicely done. Actually I couldn't fine another bass, regardless of price or brand, that was as poorly done as the Gibson.
    My first bass was a Gibson, and I was a die hard fan, but no longer. It's an embarrassment to see the U.S.A. stamped in the headstock. They should do us a favor and quit making basses or at least have them made in China and charge $300 for them.

    What a letdown..

    Sorry for the venting.
  2. mournblade


    Nov 19, 2006
    Roanoke, TX
    On the other hand I have 2012 Silverburst Explorer bass and I am very pleased with the quality. Unfortunately, bad guitars get through. I wouldn't swear off the brandbecause of this one experience.
  3. I have heard of this same experience from gibson many.... many times before.
  4. Agreed. I have to believe that was a one-time occurence, or maybe a few-times.
  5. Tanner5382

    Tanner5382 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Canton, GA
    Well Guitar Center isn't really the place to go for well set up, playable instruments. FWIW, I've had this trouble a LOT more with Fenders than with Gibsons.
  6. Like anything there are and most times will be some bad apples in the bunch. I would not judge Gibson based off this one instance, but if you happen to find the QC slipping over and over then you could start to wonder. Plus like other's have said you have to take into consideration this was a bass on the sales floor at a Guitar Center, I'm surprised it did not have more wrong with it.
  7. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    I own a recently-made Gibson and like it very much. However, the Op's claim sounds accurate, and I would expect Gibson, not GC, to be the culprit. They definitely have room to step up their game.
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    What!! Gibson has one of the worst QC departments?

    You must be new here, welcome to the forum. ;):D

    That is one of the first thing I learned here at tb. I remember a big thread where people provided piles of evidence that their qc was spotty and one of their endorsers came on to show his awesome Tbird and the quality of it. While somebody pointed out in the endorsers pictures that it was missing a ring on the bridge. Poor QC for a professional level instrument.

    For the record, they do make some good ones in there. Gibson isn't garbage, just their QC.
  9. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    Their prices have climbed to astronomical sums over the last few years. Extremely poor management. Qc issues. All reasons I wouldn't buy a new Gibson. Their current management believes the Gibson brand can survive anything and it doesn't matter what kind of product they put out. A lot of iconic brands go through dark periods like this. I'm sure not every instrument they put out are that kind of quality, but if one makes it out that's too many for that kind of money.
  10. Sweetwater inspects and sets up their instruments. They send the crap back to the manufacturer, saving the end-user the trouble. So does Wildwood Guitars in Louisville, Colorado.

    For high-dollar purchases, I thought Guitar Center was the place where you shopped, but then you buy elsewhere. Well, it is to me anyway.

    But yeah, I would never judge a bass manufacturer based on something I saw at Guitar Center. Not much of a filter at that place.
  11. lolmont


    Jan 2, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Only buy a high end guitar/bass at GC when they have a exclusive color. My brother bought his SG standard since GC had a exclusive 400 run silver burst color other wise he'd shop somewhere else.
  12. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    Never, ever buy a Gibson sight-unseen. It's good advice to follow for any instrument maker, but it's vital for Gibson. Many of us have seen way too much of this from Gibson. When they're on, they're on...but often, they're not.
  13. I bought my Warwick at a GC. It's fantastic - but then, it's a Warwick. They don't carry Warwick anymore.

    I sometimes buy strings there, but they just don't carry anything I like now. They used to be awesome, but unfortunately there ain't much left here in MN so you go where you can.
  14. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I don't see how you could fault GC for bad finish and fretwork but perhapse they shouldn't have put it out on the floor.

    Two guitar players I know had serious QC issues with upper end and CS Giibson guitars...really simple things that make you wonder how they screwed it up in the first place let alone didn't catch it before it went out the door.
  15. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.

    Their prices are lower then Fender, EBMM or any other USA made bass.
    Take the new EB bass for example. Top quality hardware, nitro paint and a hard case for the same price as a Fender American Special that comes with cheap heavy tuners, cheap bridge and a crappy gig bag.
    Where else can you get a American made hollow body bass with hard case for $1200?

    I have found their quality top notch. Yes some bad ones get through, but bad ones get through with all brands.
    I would NEVER rate a basses quality by what hangs at GC.
    The GC by me has three EBMM Sting Ray's hanging on the wall that are as bad or worse then what the OP described the T Bird he saw but I do not rate EBMM's quality by that. Mine is fine.

    My SG bass came out of the box with the best fit and finish of any bass I have ever owned. The nut and fretwork is the best too.
  16. PWV

    PWV Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 28, 2006


    But the GC limited-run 2012 Explorer I picked up is most excellent.
  17. DrSpunkwater


    Sep 17, 2012
    I have an SG bass. It's a well made bass. Finish on it was flawless. The only downside is that the frets really need to be leveled.
  18. Guitar Center doesn't put wavy finishes and protruding fret ends on the instruments it sells. They may be guilty of taking something out of a box and hanging it on the wall without a check of the setup. The excuse of "a bad one gets through sometimes" is not acceptable for a company that charges as much for their instruments as Gibson does.

    Rick B.
  19. All I'll say about Gibson is they didn't really have the CBS period, which thankfully for the sellers of said instruments, most newbs don't remember. CBS Fenders were uniformly crap. But they sell for $1000+ when you couldn't get folks to buy them for cost in the early 80s.

  20. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    They should have boxed it up and sent it back. That's what Sweetwater or any good small music shop would do.
    A local shop here sells a lot of Gibson guitars and has a lot of them on the walls. Every one is spot on. I asked the owner about the QC issues with Gibson and what his take is.
    He said he sends back 1 or 2 out of 10.

    Where do you think they end up?
    I think GC, MF, Music 123 has become the "dumping ground" for all the manufactures to send their factory seconds.